Thursday, December 20, 2012

In the Arms of Twenty Angels

With these sad events of Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut we can all see that if God exists, she does not interfere in the affairs of our world, at least, not in a manner that we can directly see. But, what is it that she does, after all? It is true that if she exists, then it is she who does create these children and then entrust them to us, and that even today, this morning, she pondered existence and although she was not required to do so, she did make her decision, and thousands of newly created infants were created and delivered into our world, into our trust.

If there ever was a boy who grew to be so troubled he could not engage in trust, it was this boy Adam Lanza. And all of it comes down to trust. We have no better strategy than to trust each other. We knew he was troubled, we were unsure how to help him, but we trusted him to carry on, as best he could, in trust with us as co-administrators of the world of peace that we labor to build. We trusted all of them, these boys who armed themselves to slay the innocent. We trusted Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, we trusted James Holmes and Seun-Hui Cho.

The rational theist, and the rational atheist comes face to face with the single question that underlies all moral thought: "Am I my brother's keeper?" We never needed a bible to come to that question, it is the fundamental moral choice that we all face in life. We can live as repositories of trust for one another, or we can be something less than that.

So, who are these boys? Are they our brothers? Do we take the time to know them? Do we even look at them?  Do they look themselves in the mirror and see boys who just cannot fit in? Do they believe we see the same when we look at them? Do they see themselves as not quite so beautiful in form and, thinking this must follow, not quite so beautiful in spirit? They see the beautiful ones, a world of beautiful children, some of them their classmates. But for themselves they must believe they are defective in their internal souls to reflect a countenance that even they cannot accept. They fail in social skills; they make mistakes in speech and movement in desperate clumsiness to just be one of the children of the world. And we do not know of the betrayals of trust that they endured. Some of such events are unspeakable, they have been endured in silence, some of them have been betrayed by the very ones to whom they had been entrusted as newborn children.

And they are here amongst us, hidden, they are all around, and some of them are sisters too, and all of them are lonely. Can we see them as ones to love? If we cannot how will they ever know it? So for atheists, how can we teach ourselves to care from them, to keep them?

And if we wish to believe in God, if we cannot see them with the same loving eyes as she who gave them life, they never will know love, until once again they find themselves in her arms after they have died and like all of us, reach out to her in the sudden relief and joy of remembrance of her being.

But Adam, poor blessed Adam, who if she exists is then the created child of God, he will avert his eyes from hers in a chemistry of burning tears, “I cannot be here,” he will say, “I cannot be with them. I do not belong here, I must be punished, I must be sent to hell, I must suffer forever, I am worthy of nothing more.”

“Who is it that with whom you cannot be?” she will ask.

“I cannot be with such as these,” he will say, for they will be surrounded by the twenty children. “I do not belong with them.”

“And with me," she will ask, "will you not belong with me?”

And he will miss her, of course he will, for it is her face, her eyes on ours, that is the last thing that we know of her, after she has created us and before she sets us to sleeping in our mother’s wombs. And it is the first thing we remember, our souls quickening in excitement at the pending reunion, after we have died. But Adam will have cut himself off form that, in the cruelest of self-punishments, in the knowledge of what he has done.

“No!” he will think to himself, “I will punish myself very well, I will not reach for her..." and his thoughts will trail off to the kinds of pain that only self condemning souls can know, those who in her very presence shut themselves off from her, refusing to be baptized once again in her beauty and her wisdom, these things we most cherish of her, these things we miss so much.

“Will you not open your eyes to me?” she will ask, holding him in her arms.

“I am terrible in my spirit,” he will say, “I am not worthy of even death, I must be sent to hell and forced to live in everlasting pain.” His cries will be those of halting anguish, some that can be heard and some that are heard only within in his spirit, the anguish only she can also hear.

“But it has been so long, Adam," she will say at last, "so very long, since I have last seen your eyes on mine.”

And he will open his eyes at that, at the thought of her alone in time, and like a newborn he will cry for her, like babies we all shall cry.

And she will raise him up to comfort him and in his ear she will whisper what we have always known, “There shall be no hell for my beloved children, you will find another way. I will send you back to the world, to find another way.”

“I am no good for them, you must send me to hell,” he will cry, “I cannot undo the things I have done. I cannot bear my memory.”

“Don’t cry Adam,” a small voice will rise, then another, then all twenty, because they are young children and these are the things young children say while they are still young children, “Don’t cry, Adam.”

His anguish will reach the place where she herself will move to kiss him, to send his soul to sleep, and she will examine him and contemplate all of the memories he wished he could abandon. She will know with us all of our memories, every one of them.

“He is sleeping now,” she will say to them, to the twenty children.

“Can you fix him? Can you make him better?” they will ask.

“I can make him beautiful,” she will say, and then she will. She will re-create him as an infant, waiting to be reborn.

And they will see in their astonishment, when once again his eyes are opened, his memories are clean and new, his baby face is smiling at the sight of his beloved’s eyes, she kisses him once more to sleep and sends him to the world to be reborn, as she sends each one of us to the world entrusting us to each other.

“He was so sad and lonely, who will take care of him?” the children will ask of her, "Can we take care of him? Can you send us back to the world with him, to take care of him?”

And these blessed children and their teachers and Adam's mother will remember the diamonds in her eyes when she kisses them each back to paradise, to the world she has created, the garden we never lost, the world where we awaken to find ourselves entrusted with created life.

We know because we see her beauty and her love that she takes care of us after we have died. She brings us close to her and holds us in her arms for as long as we wish to stay with her, She answers all of our questions, she gives to us the things we need, and we grow to love her beautifully, so beautifully we hasten to be reborn again, to hasten to the world to love her children, to hasten to the world to love each other, to hasten to the world to love the things she loves.

And they will all be teachers, and they will teach the children with whom they shall be entrusted, they will teach them to love each other, to leave not a single one behind.

They will teach them in kindergarten, to pair off and draw paintings of each other with crayons. The children will look into each other’s eyes, and count the freckles on each other’s cheeks and they will draw pictures of each other, with crayons and paper and in their minds.

And they will switch the parings, so that each one spends some hours in the eyes of every other. And at the end of the year they will each carry home 20 painted pictures of their friends.

And the teacher’s shall free the children from all fate that might have otherwise been forced upon them. The children will learn to choose their own names and their own beliefs and their own religions. They will understand that they are all in this together, that all they have is trust, that if God exists she is very beautiful and that even if she does not they do awaken in a world to find themselves entrusted with each other.

And they will keep drawing pictures of each other, in every grade thereafter. They will learn each other’s names and learn of each other’s lives, not a single one left behind. And they will keep drawing pictures of each other, when they meet in colleges and places of work, they will get to know each other. They will learn to know each other’s eyes and when they get older they might cry when they show these pictures to their grandchildren telling them it has been so long since I have seen her eyes on mine.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Medicine for Man

In some parts of the world today, battles are being fought  for the establishment of religious dictatorships where religious laws are to be imposed upon an oppressed group of people. The oppressors are well-armed believers in the concept that a religion must be imposed as a form of law. The oppressed are the men, women and children of an expanding region who suffer under the violence of the oppressors.

The oppressors move amongst the oppressed, promulgating an undercurrent of whispered threats of violent retribution for any variance from the current local interpretations of the religious law. Those that would try to move the society out of the oppression and towards more rational belief systems and governments are brutally cut off from life.

At the root of a religious dictatorship is a concept of a malevolent supreme being who creates eternal hell for those who do not worship and who do not believe precisely the current version of the imposed dogma. But who is the leader of the oppression? Where is the dictator? To whom is the militant allegiance of the oppressors given?

If God exists at all, we know it is not she who is the dictator, because we can all see the decisions of God and they show that she is not malevolent towards man. Who is it then? We are looking for a blind entity, one that cannot see the things we all can see.

The dictator is a mindless molecular representation of an idea that resides in the mind of man. It mimics life in that it replicates and spreads from one thinker to the next, across the generations. It is not invulnerable, but it is well entrenched. The medicine that heals is knowledge, but the dictator executes hideous self defense against such incursions. It causes the production and release of chemicals in the brain that serve to protect and strengthen it. It forces a fear reaction that causes its hosts to physically ward off the light of reason.

The dictator then, is nothing but a false idea, an idea that somehow has become physically entrenched in the minds of man, taking up new posts in new minds in each new generation.  How can the dictator be removed from power? To answer this one must peer backwards in time to the point of its origin. We will understand that its existence was inevitable. Like any of the great questions of philosophy, it arises on its own, without revelation, with nothing but observation of the universe followed by the wondering as to why things are as they are.

Man observed the universe and saw that great murderous beasts lived in the earth, threatening, attacking and killing the children of man. Why is this so? He wondered. Why are there thunderstorms and lightning strikes? Is the roar of thunder the same as the roar of the beast? Is there some great being living above the sky? Why is it so angry and malevolent towards man? What could be done to appease it?

Today, we understand the cause of thunder and lightning. But in those days we only understood that living entities would move against each other. So it was inevitable, it was predictable, that as man evolved to become a conscious being in this realm where life and death are uncertain, he would consider a concept of a thinking being who was more powerful than all other beings and this was the being who thundered in anger and cast fire down from the heavens towards man.

In times of great and terrifying natural disasters, man found himself murmuring desperate supplications to the powerful being, pleadings to end the torment. When man survived to see the end of the storm, he rationally concluded that the powerful being had listened to his prayer. Man then began to form more detail theories as to the desires of the powerful being. Man observed that the being cast lighning capriciously, killing man and child alike, and man drew the logical conclusions that the powerful being demanded sacrifices and burnt offerings.

From these original theories of the angry malevolent being behind the natural disasters, man evolved his spoken and written traditions and used the name of God to convey his understanding. Once the idea of the malevolent God took hold in the mind of man, it spread quickly, from parent to child, from chief to sentry, from brother to sister. It became entrenched throughout the land and it replicated through time, through the generations to today, the year, 2012. it is well entrenched, blinding the members of entire societies, inciting the blind to violence.

Today. the blind cannot see how beautiful is the universe and how beautiful is his creator. If he takes a moment to think of it, if he averts his eyes from his blind belief in his scriptures and spoken traditions, the dictator releases its poison in a flowing of false ideas: “But it just might be true! If you proceed to doubt you are destined for eternal burning torment at the hand of the all-powerful creator of Hell! You must bow down and worship him, for this life and for eternity you must worship the creator of Hell, you are worth nothing more than that!”

The flowing of the false ideas evokes the release of chemicals that cause a fear response, and the afflicted man begs silently in anguish for forgiveness for each tiny moment of a doubt. And the logical mind becomes compelled to carry this forward to murderous extremes, for is his failure not to kill the unbelievers not itself a sign of doubt? How can unbelievers be allowed to live in blasphemy against the most powerful creator of Hell? One must do all one can or he has failed to fully worship, appease and obey. And so we begin to understand the mind of the radical fundamentalist, the nature of his illness. He is truly lost, a sheep whose eyes are overgrown with wool, wandering in blindness through a wilderness, ruled by panic and by fear, acting out in a reflected anger, hatred and violence towards his fellow man, toward his own children.

The false idea tries to live in all of us, we have all inherited the idea of the malevolent creator of Hell who commands worship and specific belief. Our parents and our ancestors meant well, but they themselves were afflicted with the same parasite. From these original ideas we have evolved our books of scriptures, our Torahs, Bibles, and Qurans. Each book demands homage to the same malevolent creator of Hell.

As free societies began to evolve upon the earth, religious dogma found safe havens in which they could evolve. Benevolent forms of Christianity, Judaism and Islam began to exist. The ancient stories of a God who demanded the killing of women and children were seen as allegorical and not really true depictions of the character of God. But freedom has not spread throughout the earth. Religious dictatorships have become entrenched in societies, if not in constitution then in the murderous intent of clerics, scholars and blinded soldiers.

There are oppressed people who are crying out in silence for they cannot dare to cry out aloud. The blinded warrior himself, observing the spark of reason, dares not speak of it for fear of his afflicted comrade. But they all are seeking a way to escape and today there is nowhere that they can go. Freedom has been cut off. The dictator has a firm grip and is waiting to replicate itself, enforced into the minds of their children.

These children, with whom we are entrusted by the universe or by God herself if she exists, are born into a world where we ourselves are the conduit for the replication of the false ideas. We think it is our right and duty to force these false ideas of God into their minds well before they have reached the age of reason, well before they have achieved their education, well before they have achieved the political and cultural freedom and strength of mind to challenge us and prove to us that our ancient ideas of God are false ideas. Our children would heal the world if we would but ensure that they have educations and freedom of belief.

But we are beginning to evolve, we are opening up our eyes to study the universe, to study the creation. We never needed the opinions of our ancestors to understand the true nature of God. They themselves were mistaken. They themselves were also afflicted. They themselves inherited the false ideas of the malevolent God. If they do live on in an after life then we can see they do live on in anguish for they are no longer amongst us, they cannot stand to say that they were mistaken, that they should never have allowed the replication of this false idea borne out of misunderstandings of the forces of nature.

It is only we who can move to restore their peace. We can do this by protecting the next generations. We can establish human rights for children and that among these rights is the right to not be indoctrinated into any particular systems of belief. We will teach them about all beliefs but we will not insist to tell them they are born as believers in a particular belief simply because their parents are believers. We will carefully shepherd them through a rational educational process so that they can stand with us as adults and debate the benefits of the different systems of belief.

This is how we are healing ourselves. This is how we relegate the false ideas to their rightful place, to join with the myths of the ancient epochs of man. The dictator turns out to be nothing more than a false idea borne out of fear and ignorance of the forces of nature. This dictator is dissolved to nothing with the opening of ones eyes to view the beauty and wonder of the universe.

And if one wants to believe in God and he is struggling with this eviction, he has but to take a moment, an hour, a day, a week, or a season to remember that none of us can see God and so he is free to think of his creator as female and, instantly, all of the malevolence begins to fade. the believer finds himself standing to face the universe, eyes opened wide, discovering the great beauty and promise of the universe and the great beauty and promise of she who has created it if it is indeed her creation.

We are now evolving and extending freedom to the world. We are creating places of safety where the oppressed can come to live. We are making plans to turn our attention to the most severely afflicted. We are disarming and restraining the militant oppressors, we are teaching them how to open their eyes to learn, to finally see the things we all can see.

We are becoming atheists and rational theists, we are studying the cosmos to learn how to make the journey to spread our beautiful species throughout the innumerable watered planets warmed by their distant stars. In either form of universe, created or evolved, we are becoming repositories of trust for our children and we are educating them in truth and teaching them to love each other.

We are beautiful, in the eyes of our creator if she exists we are beautiful, in the extent of the beautiful universe we are the ones who live, the ones who love life, the ones who extend life and liberty to each other, we are beautiful, we are our brothers keeper.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Universe We See

If God exists, then this is the universe we see:
  • We can see that God creates children and entrusts them to humanity.
  • We can see that God is not required to do this, but that she continues to do this.
  • We can see the joy that children bring to us.
  • We can then conclude that God must greatly love us in order to continue to entrust us with these children.
  • We can see that she creates us to live, that, in her eyes, our lives have great value.
  • We can then ask ourselves what is the best response we can make to her.
  • We can see that the answer must be in the manner in which we treat each other and in the manner in which we raise her children.
  • We can see therefore that it is in our best interest to build relationships of mutual trust with our fellow man.

If God does not exist, then this is the universe we see:

  • We can see that each one of us has a choice:  to live in solitude or to live in the community of man.
  • We can see that  we sometimes we need assistance to live, fo, when we are ill or injured or without food and shelter.
  • We can see we have a basic choice, to fight or to get along.
  • We can see that if we decide to fight, there will be just one of us left standing, in a mortally wounded state.
  • We can see therefore that if we value life we should not fight.
  • We can see therefore that life itself is a value against which moral systems can be built. and that it is in our best interest to build relationships of mutual trust with our fellow man.
In either form of universe, created or evolved, we can see the same clear objective source for morality, that life itself is a value, and we draw its logical conclusion:  It is in ourselves we are to trust, it is our bond that will enable us to build a world of peace.

We can begin to see those that betray trust are not necessarily evil, that instead they are lost, no longer able to see the logic of mutual trust.  In some cases, they have become ill.  In all cases, they are in need of interdiction, restraint, education, and healing.

We are all in need of rational education and freedom from enforced beliefs in ancient ideas of God that contradict the nature of the God we see if God exists at all.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Decisions of Man

If God exists, we can see God's nature by observing the Decisions of God. We can see that She continues to create children and entrust them to us. We can see that She is not required to do this, but She does so anyway. Is this decision of God an indication of benevolence, malevolence, or ambivalence?

Whatever your answer, you have learned a truth about God, without a Bible, Quran, or Torah, or any other writing of man. You observed the creation and you learned this without even a single word from God.

God is beautiful, we can see this with our own eyes, our ancestors were mistaken in the scriptures they wrote. God is not a creator of hell, She creates this exquisite universe as a most suitable place for man and then she bestows children upon us, trusting us to raise them. And then we can see from this that indeed, She gives us to each other, trusting us to bless and keep ourselves as beloved to each other as we were beheld in God's eyes when She created us.

We were never evicted from this garden She created. We eat of the tree of life every day in our every embrace and we eat of the knowledge of good and evil when we see that we can respond to the decisions of God by living as repositories of trust for one another, or, sadly, as something less than that. She does not forbid this, She grants us the power and the will to make the Decisions of Man, to decide to live as ones who are like She who created us, as lovers of the generations of Man.

We are beautiful. We are the children of God. And as we live we are being rewarded with a new generation of Man, spectacular in its beauty. Shall we love them? Shall we raise them to love each other? Or shall we instead force them to believe the ancient opinions of our ancestors who were driven by fear to conclude that God is angry and punishes forever the believers in other faiths?

Our ancestors were mistaken and we are mistaken to blindly believe them. And if they live on in an afterlife and can observe us, they are in anguish because they can see they have entrapped us. We are entrapped in fear to question the things that they wrote, the things that were never the word of God but only the opinions of man. We can end their anguish, we can make the Decisions of Man, we can stand in courage to correct their mistakes, to free ourselves from this trap and to hear the heavens resounding in applause.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Knowledge of Good and Evil

Speaking in reaction to the July 20 Colorado movie theatre shooting, President Obama tried to find words to express what such a tragedy means for all of us:

"Even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this," Obama said. "Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason.”

In that last sentence, the reference is unclear.  Are the understanding of such actions beyond the capability of reason, or are the acts themselves beyond reason?  If the shooter had more carefully reasoned during the formulation of his plan, he would not have so acted "beyond reason." I think however that our capability to understand the event can be well within the bounds of reason. In many such events, the perpetrator is seeking justice for a series of real and imaginary injustices that have been endured.

The clear answer to this lies in the content of the shooters memory. However, does he still retain the intellectual capacity to relate the full content of his memory? And even if he does, can he be trusted to honestly convey the events that led to the reasons for his actions? In this respect, we are at the mercy of each other. We are all capable of lying to one another and because of the shooters actions, we should perhaps not trust him in this regard. And so for this reason, we might conclude that “We may never know...”

However, we do not need the detailed content of his memory; we can ascertain the general content instead. And for that we can examine the content of our own memories and we can speak in general terms as to the content of the memory of almost any man or woman.

We have all experienced injustices. The toddler experiences this when he sees a sibling favored. We experience this in grade school when a teacher's pet is favored. We have an innate sense of equality with one another and favoritism, without reason, is naturally seen as an injustice. For most of us, these little slights are ignored and we press on in life. After all, one might lose a contest of a flipping of a coin, but there are many coins ahead to flip in life.

For some though, it is a different story. The flipping of a coin is never fair. Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied? Have you ever known a classmate who was a universal source of scorn within the social order of the classroom? Have you witnessed or heard of these events where abuse was heaped for no other reason than the random circumstances of the object person's birth and upbringing. Examine your own conscience and place it in the consciousness of the scorned individual and honestly imagine the experiencing of such events. Perhaps your thoughts might go like this, when you wake up in the morning for another day of school and look into the mirror.

  • You can see that you are not as beautiful as those who are favored in your school. 
  • You can see that your family is poor and uneducated. 
  • You can see that your clothes are old and worn. 
  • You know that you will be bullied once again today, by virtually everyone in your school. 
  • You can see that you can end your own life and you have read that many people in your circumstances do indeed take such a final act. 
  • You can see that you can instead endure the pain for as long as you can and hope for something better. 
  • You can get used to the fact that every word you utter will be met with derision and laughter. 
  • You can get used to the fact that the system of justice in your society permits these torments. 
  • You have no friends, there is nobody to whom you can speak of these things. 
  • You have sense of justice derived from the same rational observation of the universe visible to one and all:  we are all born equal to one another, whether or not God exists. 
  • Although you see the equality of human birth, it is apparent that society and its systems of justice do not uphold this truth in the case of you.

Now, imagine many years passing by and the improvement hoped for did not occur.  Although  blatant physical bullying does not occur so often as an adult, you are still not included in the social invitations. You still have no friends. You are not one of those who are favored in the university classroom.  You cannot find employment in anything other than menial jobs. Add to this, for good measure, some very unpleasant memories from childhood; perhaps you were abused to the point where you felt that the sum of the value of your life was not more than that of a trash can or a toilet. Eventually, you find yourself wishing that you had never been born and suicide becomes more attractive, no longer at the dusk, but at the dawn of each new day.

For many like you, who have endured far less than you, suicide is the sad resolution. But, you, before you take that act, you think of justice, that there should be justice in the world.

If God exists, he is not just, you think, because he created a world where a child would have to endure a life like yours.

If God does not exist, the world is not just, you think, because it did not afford you a mechanism to request, with full dignity and right and respect, an injunction against those who were tormenting you.

For twenty four years the Colorado theater shooter lived as his brothers keeper. We do not know the extent of any abuse he might suffered as a child. We can know that those who endure such things wish there was a mechanism to clear their memories of such events. They have the bitter taste of the knowledge of the evil to which man is capable of descent. they would prefer death than to have to speak of the events.  We do not know the quantity of injustices he endured while growing up.

But we can know that his act, as are all such attacks,  a final attempt to bring justice to the world. Did he, as others who act like this, conceive of a world conspired against him, a world where he was doomed to failure and derision in the eyes of his society stemming from the circumstances of his birth and childhood, over which he had no control, and extending into his adult life where his fellow students now remark that nobody knew the young man, that he had no friends at all?

Society then, for these past twenty four years, left this young man behind. There was nobody to carefully bring him forward.  The child retreated into silence and darkness.  We have to find a way to bring them forward.

In either form of universe, created or evolved, good and evil have the same definitions. Although expressed in different words in each one of us as toddlers and as infants, before we can speak or understand the language spoken by our family, we all discover the same question that is at the heart of all moral choices:

Am I my brother's keeper?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Physics of Reincarnation

Consider two thinkers, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. We could choose any two thinkers born in separate centuries, but these two will do just fine. In our thought experiment, we have a two time travelling ships equipped with scientific instruments. We travel invisibly so as not to disturb the events we shall witness, and we have a way to be in both machines at once.

In one machine, we journey to the time when Newton was one month of age and in the other, we find Einstein at the same age. Let us stipulate that these two infants, like many infants, look more or less the same. However, none of us knows which machine is which and therefore, we are not sure yet which one of the infants is which. We know that if we follow them forward in time, they will eventually physically differentiate and we will have no problem identifying which one is Einstein and which is Newton. (In this experiment, we are unable to view the surrounding events and period pieces to help us identify them. We see the infants only and they are dressed in equivalent clothing.)

Now, turn back the hands of time ten more months each, to the moment of their conceptions and then forward to the first splitting of the cells. We cannot tell which one is Newton and which one is Einstein.

Now let us follow the zygotes forward in time slowly. At some point in time, between the zygote and the toddler, each one of them perceived their own existence. In other words, at some point, perhaps in the womb or some time shortly thereafter, they expressed, in their own internal language, the meaning of the sentence that we express as "I exist."

"I exist", said Sir Isaac Newton, in his own internal silent language, perhaps startled when he found that he had hands attached to him that were not the attending hands of his mother. "I have these … appendages, I am like her! I wonder if I have a ... yes! I have what I might someday call a nose! And eyes! Ouch!"

Albert Einstein has the same conversation, in his own internal language. Neither one of them has a language that we can understand, but each one of them is a thinking human being abstracting the fact of their own existence, attaining, in this moment, an equivalency of consciousness.

Let us presume that this happens during the third month of infancy. They have now more clearly differentiated physically.  But, what do the boys know? They see different mothers, but, what do they know about mothers other than as a familiar face who attends to them? Neither one of them knows that there are other mothers in the world. The taste of their milk is different, but, what do they know of milk? Neither one of them knows that there are other kinds and flavors of milk. Their knowledge of milk is equivalent in that it is the thing they drink to quell their hunger and the taste of it brings no practical difference in new knowledge. 

So, observe the boys. Are they not equivalent in every meaningful sense? But, we can see them, simultaneously in our thought experiment, and so we know they are not the same conscious being.  But let us now push the reset button. We are back in our own time, still not sure which infant was Newton and which one as Einstein. But today, we know that they both went on to live and die. They were born in separate centuries, not simultaneously as we have just observed. They both exclaimed "I exist' at different points in the landscape that we in retrospect call space-time. Einstein attained an equivalency of consciousness with that of Sir Isaac Newton, but after Sir Isaac Newton had died.

So how can we tell that the infant Albert Einstein is NOT the re-emergence of Isaac Newton in any meaningful sense? How can they themselves tell the difference? At the moment of their attainment of consciousness, they were not differentiated in any meaningful sense with respect to the content of their consciousness, comprised, in that moment, in the understanding that "I exist".

The absolute meaning of "I exist" can be difficult to grasp. When it first was uttered in your infancy, it was followed by a conceptualization of "me". The terms you used then were not English words. Whatever they were, they became symbols in your subconscious mind. Later you learned the language and adopted the words "I" and "me". Einstein adopted the terms "ich" and "mir" to describe the same symbols. At the symbolic level, at the moment of the taking on of consciousness, there is an equivalency of consciousness, a physical state of being, an event known as the same event amongst all who do so become conscious. In retrospect, we can see that each are different events but with respect to the infant in our arms, we cannot prove that one who has long ago died has not re-emerged into this new conscious life.

It almost doesn't matter who you were before if you can be enabled to find the important ideas you left in the world. The balance of your former private memories are perhaps best left sleeping. This can be a rational meaning of death, a reason why death is selected by evolution. We can survive and thrive in an endless universe if we can shed the weight of our memories that might otherwise drive us down in depression and remorse. Like snakes, we shed the skins of our former memories and emerge in the gilded grass anew.

The physical laws of consciousness are the same for each individual. Matter and space-time combine to form barriers between us, to create a net effect of separate individuality during a specific epoch-place of space-time. Today we are living in the epoch-place of earth in the year numbered 2012. In the year 2300, we will no longer exist as conscious beings who have our specific memories attached.  We will instead be conscious beings who have different memories attached.  But each one of us will once again be saying, "I exist" and fully embracing the ecstasy thereof.

At the moment that the infant conceives his own existence, he is equivalent to every other infant who conceives the same, without regard to the time frame in which the acknowledgement occurs. Your expression of “I exist” is the same expression made by Sir Isaac Newton, the same expression made by Einstein, the same expression made by Cleopatra. Your consciousness, once emerged, then differentiates and becomes relative to the events of your life that form your memories.

Today, you are You. You are the being that took on consciousness and differentiated to become yourself. You will die someday and after that an infant will say "I exist". The infant will be You, once again, taking on consciousness,  free of the detailed content of your current memories, the things that did not go exactly as you might have wished. Your memory is clean and new.

You will be living in a future age, you will be reading the knowledge of the things you wrote as Newton or as Einstein or as Moses or as the conscious being you are today. You will read these writings and correct them and improve them. You will reforge the far flung universe to make a place to live, you will settle on your evening porch and will to light your pipe under skies fading from pink to seven moons.

Created or evolved, you are living now and you can prepare the way, not the way of the Lord, but prepare the way of the child. Prepare ye the way of You.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Fountainhead of Moral Laws

We know, from a study of the Problem of Evil argument, that whether or not God exists, there is no evil on the earth until man appears. Man defines evil according to the manner in which he treats his fellow man. At the core of every evil act is a betrayal of trust. This is true in any universe where thinkers are free-willed and autonomous. This is true if God does or does not exist.

When we are born, we have no choice but to trust. Our only hope for survival is that there is somebody, worthy of our trust, who will keep us safe from harm until such time as we have grown to the wisdom and maturity to stand on our own.

We learn to betray each other when we are very young. We learn that we can lie. This starts in the crib, when we discover that we can draw our mother near if we feign a cry of distress. We do not have the conscious vocabulary to verbalize the concepts, but our subconscious is hard at work, storing information in symbols we can no longer consciously understand. Now that we are older, our minds do the work of bubbling up concepts, from our subconscious,  and transforming them to courses of action that sometimes escape as impulsive reactions. If you hit your thumb with a hammer in your own garage a colorful curse might escape with abandon. If you are in the company of small children you might catch this impulse and exclaim something more carefully thought out, causing laughter from the children themselves to escape with the same abandon.

At some point in time, still while we are very young and not capable of practical language, we develop our own internal language and we babble all day long about anything that is on our minds. Sometimes, to attract attention, we will make up a story and speak it, unaware that nobody can understand what we are saying. And, if our story has the intended effect of gaining attention, we begin to understand, in our own internal language, the power of the lie.

We learn at the age of 2 or 3 that we can cause another being to veer off of a natural course if we can get him or her to believe a lie. We understand that we must temper this power because we have developed relationships of concern for those close to us. We do not want to lead them down the wrong path. We want them to have good sources of trust in a world where all can lie. We understand that we can be somebody that they can trust. We understand all of this, in our own language while we are still very young.

 In the struggle for life, a well-executed lie can be the difference between life and death. This is true throughout the animal kingdom and it is no less true in the mind of man. Therefore it is important that we learn early on about the power of the lie. Evolution, or our creator herself, has brought us to this state, empowering us with the capacity to lie.

The fountainhead of moral laws is in your consciousness. You always, without exception, within your own internal court of reason, condemn yourself for each instance in which you have judged that you betrayed another’s trust. You cannot escape from this; the testimony of your memory is unimpeachable and your internal moral code is clear. You could have behaved as a repository of trust.  Instead you behaved as something less than that.

You have within yourself  a perfect system of justice with respect to the things you know.  You can choose. You are not a robot. You are a physical law of the universe. You are the fountainhead of moral laws.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Birth of Physical Laws

Book Review: Free Will by Sam Harris

Well known atheist and New York Times bestselling author Sam Harris has authored a new book entitled Free Will that is dedicated to the proposition that free will is an illusion. The rationale is clear and compelling. It is a short monograph; the main content is about 70 pages followed by a section of references and endnotes.

Do we live in a deterministic universe? Is each future state of the universe determined absolutely by a prior state? Or is the opposite true? Can a certain state of the universe come into existence without absolute dependence on the constitution of a prior state? The key word is "absolute." If, for example, in any new state of the universe, a random element is introduced, then that state is not absolutely dependent on the prior state. This view of the universe is labeled as indeterminism.

The problem with the standard notion of free will is that it appears to be incompatible with either form of universe. Mr. Harris lays out the reasons for this very clearly. This understanding of free will is labeled as incompatibilism.

But, what exactly is the 'standard notion' of free will?  As Mr. Harris points out, the definition can vary and change over time from person to person.

Harris quotes Einstein:
Honestly, I cannot understand what people mean when they talk about the freedom of the human will. I have a feeling, for instance, that I will something or other; but what realtionship this has to freedom I cannot understand at all. I feel that I will to light my pipe and I do; but how can I connect this up with the idea of freedom? What is behind the act of willing to light the pipe? Another act of willing?
Einstein is not compelled to light the pipe.  If he were a robot, the lighting of the pipe would be part of the behavior 'detemined' by his programmer. So, when Einstein lights his pipe, who, or what, is doing the "determining?" 

NYU Professor of Philosophy Ned Block points out how in the face of incompatibility he decided to adopt a more restricted notion of free will. This position is labeled as compatiblism.

Tufts University Professor of Philosophy Daniel Dennett further refines a compatibilist view. We act because of reasons and further we share our reasons with one another. The concept of 'responsibility' is introduced as wearing its definition on its sleeve. We can be responsible to one another because we are capable of responding to one another.

University of Reading Professor of Philosophy Galen Strawson’s argument against free will is based on a definition of free will as the individuals being solely, ultimately, and singularly responsible for his decisions. Mr. Harris maintains similar positions throughout his book.

Must the notion of free will be glued to the notion of responsibility? Some theists propose that the answer is yes, implying that one is responsible to God, however this is a non-sequiter.  Free will can be a bona-fide subject of discussion in both created and non-created universes. The concept of free will, in and of itself, cannot be associated with a concept of responsibility, until one first defines the concept of free will and then answers the question: "To whom, if anyone, is one responsible?"  Free will can exist without regard to the asking or the answering of that question. 

All choices are constrained by the physical laws of the universe. For example, if one is starving and finds two bushes of berries, one red and the other blue, he must make a decision as to which one of them, if any, is safe to eat. He must eat, and his choices are restricted, but he is free to make a choice. This is absolute freedom in every sense of the word. He is not compelled by prior circumstances to choose red over blue or vice versa. He can flip a coin, or perhaps he can feed some of the berries to animals to observe their effect.

The ‘free’ in free will refers not to the quantity or quality of choices. It refers to the individual’s capacities to make a choice and to carry it out. If, in the example above, only red berries were found, the choice remained to eat no berries at all and to press on instead for more reliable food. Yes, death is the risk, but death is the risk of life itself.

Definition of Free Will

Free will is the collection of the following four capacities of a thinking agent:

  1. The capacity to observe the present: Options exist out of which one or more can be chosen. 
  2. The capacity to observe the past: To use ones memory in the evaluation of the current options. 
  3. The capacity to conceive of the future: To predict the probable net effect on future states of the different choices that might be made.  
  4. The capacity to carry out a selected choice.
The net effect of the possession of free will, in a deterministic or indeterministic universe, is to act in conjunction with the physical laws of the universe to determine, predict and cause the existence of a selected future state. The will of man thus becomes a physical law of the universe. In a non created universe, the physical laws of the universe have dictated that new physical laws will come into existence and we see them arise with each newborn child.  In a created universe we see the same thing and more, for we see our children as the continuous gifts of a loving creator who entrusts is with their care.

The autonomous thinkers of free will, be they atheist or be they theist, can reason together to create the rationale and the enactment that will ensure freedom of thought for all newborn children so that they can cause to exist a selected future state of world peace and the realization of an effort to spread the  human population across the universe. We are physical law of the universe, created or evolved, we can move the ancient mountains, in faith or in resolve.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Honor in the Court of Reason

Every man is honorable within his own high court of reason. He has all of the evidence, his testimony is unimpeachable, he knows the truth of the things that he has done. He sees himself as his own perfect witness, his own perfect prosecutor, how own perfect judge, and his own perfect jury.

If God does not exist, the honorable man can hope for the certainty of death. Thinking processes are ended, memories are dissolved, and he truly rests in peace. He can, before his time is up, make whatever improvements he can make in the world as partial reparations for what he sees as guilt.

If instead at death he finds himself in the arms of God, it is not her judgement that he fears. Those ones that he hurt in life, to whom he might have brought joy instead, did suffer at his hand and time cannot be unwound to make amends. A man who has caused pain to others at some times during his life, will himself ask God for the gates of hell. He will reject any offer of salvation. He will have judged himself as unworthy of living with decent people and he will seek his eternal punishment because there is no other way that he can see to repair what he has done.

And if this is you, yes you, the one reading, then after this contemplation, you will finally lift your head towards the face of God, in courage and in honor, to ask her for the justice of your punishment. And you will be astounded at her wisdom, the wisdom you see in her eyes when you find yourself at last within her vision, her contemplation of your being.

She knows the origin events; she sees what you can never see. She sees your conception and your evolution in the womb, she sees your birth and the perfection of the innocence of your youth. She sees your nature, that you were created as an autonomous thinker and that you are capable of doubting the truth of every word you hear and the meaning of everything you see. And she sees how you labored in your years of life in your constant state of not knowing the things you thought you should wish to know.

And then you learn that another witness must be heard there, in your own high court of reason. It is she who is your most perfect witness, she has seen the things you could not see. And she will stand as well, as an unrelenting friend, to your own high court of reason and she will make clear the paths to follow for your peace and you exoneration.

And one of these might be this very world, in the very state in which you left it. And you might see then that there is no other just punishment, you must be born again, in the world, and suffer under the consequences of what you did and what you failed to do. You are honorable within your own high court of reason.

She will offer this as a path to follow and if you are to accept it, you will once again be born, a newborn child, untroubled by your prior memories, capable of the greatest goodness, a precious gift to man. Yes you, you are given to the world of man, precious in the sight of God. We are given to each other, we can see this with our own eyes, we have never needed a prophet or a scripture to instruct us, we have had only to consider our response to God.

And even today, while you still live, you live as precious within her sight. And perhaps this is your second life, or your third or fourth on earth. And maybe now, you can decide, to create a world of peace for man.

You can see clearly now, that man is lost, we are as sheep without a shepherd. How is it that you will rise? What gentle things can you do, now that you are wise, to at last lead man to a world of peace? In your own high court of reason, if you could pay your debts, would the price be any less than this?

Friday, March 2, 2012

A 500 Year Plan

We are transforming our world to a place of peace by learning to raise our children to love one another.

The people of the world are beginning to rise and they are seeking to transform the world to a place of peace. They understand that atheists and theists must work together to make this happen. Theists and atheists are changing in many ways for this very purpose.

Theists are beginning to understand that God expresses no objection to atheism. While it is true that our Bibles, Qurans and other scriptures seem to hint otherwise, theists are beginning to question these conclusions.

Theists are beginning to understand that, If God truly exists, the overwhelming love of God for man is evident in the fact that God continues to give us children in spite of our sad history of raising them to mistrust or even hate each other.

Observing this love of God, theists are beginning to understand that God would never give a Bible, Quran or other book of scripture to man because he observes that we will emerge with separate interpretations and create our separate groups of religions that cause us to mistrust and fight with each other.

Instead of a book, theists are beginning to understand that God gave us our senses and thinking processes to observe the creation. Observing the creation, and the overwhelming love of God, theists can now see clearly that their ancestors were mistaken in many of the ideas expressed in the scriptures. If our ancestors do live on in an afterlife, and if they can observe our progress, theists are beginning to understand that our ancestors would have a source of anguish because they never intended for us, their descendants, to fear to question their opinions. They wish instead that we would fully examine their writings and make the corrections that they themselves are no longer able to make.

Theists understand now that it is the unquestioning belief in scripture that is preventing the theists and the atheists from transforming our world into a place of peace. They are now examining their scriptures, and comparing what their ancestors wrote to what they see with their own eyes.  They are carefully considering their long held beliefs and they are understanding how they must gradually adjust so that they can truly begin to raise their children to love all of the children of God.  They understand that this is not an overnight process.  Some of them take great comfort in their current belief system and with good reason find that they should not change what they believe, sometimes because of an inescapable fear of condemnation and for these people it is up to the rest of us to allow them their beliefs while making improvements for the younger generations.

Form this we can all see that this process will require a continuous collaboration of the generations of man.  This positive work begins in this generation, the generation of 2012. Our children will carry it forward.  Some of them will continue to fall into the traps of unquestioning belief in the opinions of their ancestors but as each generation passes, more and more of the children of God will be transitioning to more rational belief systems that are designed to enable all of man to work together to at least build a beautiful world of peace.

The theists and the atheists will be working together to make this happen. How can the theists begin to trust the atheists? The theists can see that the atheists are changing too.

Atheists are beginning to understand that if they can make a full commitment to a plan for transforming the world to a place of peace, then the theists themselves would be encouraging them to take leadership roles in governments throughout the world. The theists understand that atheists who think and act with reason and logic toward a global state of peace and equality will have an important role to play in any viable plan.

The atheists understand that the theists perhaps have the most critical role, because it is the theists who must begin the great adjustment to the beliefs passed on to them by their ancestors and to begin to raise their children, not in slavish belief in written opinion, but in knowledge and in love.

So a clear foundation for mutual trust between theists and atheists is reachable by beginning the work to create a generational-spanning plan to transform the world to a place of peace. This writer considers that it will take 500 years of gradual generational improvements in the education of each new generation of children as well as gradual improvements in the governments of man but this is just a starting point for discussion. It could take less or more time than that.

The discussions are just beginning. What is your opinion?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Universal Moral Code

Theamology, like atheism, requires a secular moral code, a code that is not dependent on religious writings or beliefs. Moral concepts are created using conclusions derived, as a course of reason, from an observation of the universe. The difference between an atheist and a theamologist is the manner in which they observe the universe. The theamologist first makes an assumption that the universe is created and then observes the universe to see if anything can be learned about the nature of the creator. The atheist makes no such assumption. In theamology, here at the beginning of our new epoch of understanding, we use the feminine pronouns to reference God and call her by the name of Thea. The reasons for this are found elsewhere in this blog.

The theamologist observes the universe and discovers that, if Thea does indeed exist, she is careful to not disclose any evidence of such existence to man. Therefore the theamologist observes the same physical universe as the atheist: they both see no evidence whatsoever for the existence of a creator.

The theamologist, having assumed the existence of a creator, can conclude that the creator had some choices to make in the manner in which the created thinkers would be given to live with one another. The theamologist next observes that, in spite of our sad history in the manner in which we treat our children, Thea continues to entrust us with newborn children. The theamologist now understands that he is given a choice, he can live as a repository of trust for children, or he can live as something less than that. From this observation the theamologist can conclude that he is held as dearly beloved by his creator. From these observations, questions of morality are clarified. Thea never had to speak a word in order for man to learn a rational basis for a moral code. We have had only to observe the universe to learn the difference between good and evil. The theamologist begins to understand that it is not only his children with whom he has been gifted, but it is every other man and woman as well. We can be repositories of trust for one another, or we can be something less than that. The basic moral good for the theist then is to live as a repository of trust for his fellow man. Anything less than that can be considered to be on a course towards that which is not good, or that which is evil.

This moral code can be understood to be secular in that it is not dependent on the speeches or writings of man, nor is it dependent on any purported word of God. It is derived form a strict observation of the universe. As such it is suitable as a reasonable basis for a secular, non-religious moral code for our world.

The atheist makes no such assumption as to the existence of a creator. How can the atheist come to an agreement with the theist as to the basis for a moral code.  What can be a basis for a rational, secular morality?

In the secular world, morality is declared. Man stands as a group and takes oaths to defend the notion that all people are born equal. Each person is entitled to freedom from oppression, of any kind, from any other person, group of persons, or legal entity, including business, religious, and governmental entities. Our governments, religions, and business institutions shall not oppress the individual.

We can see that such declarations are congruent with the theists understanding that he must live as a repository of trust for his fellow man. Accordingly, the theists can now begin to work with the atheists to finally establish the rationale behind a universal moral code for man and this of necessity will be in the form of a declaration, arrived at after rational debate. The work begins today, at the dawning of our new epoch of understanding. Where can we begin?

It begins today, in all countries of the world. Each new generation, in each country must take an objective look at their founding documents, make the necessary corrections, and improve them for the next generations. After a progression of generational improvements, each country will become more aligned with the others in their devotion to the establishment to absolute freedom form oppression and the creation of an equalization of opportunity for each individual. It will not happen overnight. It will be a result of a collaboration of the generations.

In America, it is time we stood and examined our founding documents. Did our ancestors get everything right?
  • For example, in their preliminary writings, they spoke clearly of a separation of church and state. However in our constitution, this is not so clearly spelled out. Were they mistaken in this regard? It appears that indeed they were mistaken, because we see today the separate sects of religions tryi9ng to impose their scriptural moral values on other citizens through writ of law, in spite of what appears to be a clear inclination on the part of our founders that there be a complete and certain separation of church and state.

  • As another example, are our founding documents in error because there is no clear separation between business and state? After all, we do observe that big business, through its powerful mechanisms of influence over elected officials, has a major influence on the laws that are created. This can be seen to result in oppression, where the individual rights to engage in free trade are restricted by being forced to make deals with the larger businesses who have entrenched themselves through writ of law. Do we need improvement here? Did our ancestors fail to for see this in their original writings?

We must correct the writings of our ancestors. We must no longer accept them as perfect in any way. Our ancestors did they best they could, in the time when they lived, and if they do somehow live on they are counting on us to examine their work and to make the corrections where needed to improve the world to a global state of peace. To fail to do so is to dishonor them. It is an act of fear to fail to question their writings and we know they meant well, and it was not their intention that we would be reduced to a state of fear in regards to correcting them. This applies to religious and political writings. We must learn to have the courage to challenge everything that has been written.

We have a clear path forward, the atheists and the theists can agree on a set of reasoned moral tenets that are not dependent on any system of belief, but rather on a grasping of each other’s hands in trust, that we shall re-engineer our world to a state of peace, however long it takes.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reason Rally in DC - A Small Step for Man...

Weather and health permitting, I will be attending the Reason Rally in Washington DC on March 24, 2012. Billed as the largest secular event in world history, it is intended to focus on non-theist achievements over the past several years.

The event has a web site at The discussions are interesting. One prospective participant wonders if she should bring her eight year old nephew. Her concern was that there might be "a lot of cussing" and general disparagement of what the child understands as the religion in which his family takes great comfort.

What this child might not understand is that many children have religions enforced in their early childhood, before they have the psychological and intellectual capacities to deal with the concepts. Some of these concepts are of a great fear of God and or some eternal punishment. It is these irrational fears, instilled by culture and family that he feels obligated to love and honor, that lead the child to become become manipulated later to hate the children of other belief systems. Their rational faculties have become corrupted and it can seem impossible for them to recover.

We observe this sadness once again in the recently concluded trial of the underwear bomber.  This  young man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been unable to reorganize his court of reason. His fear of a false concept of Allah's punishment prevents him from questioning the things he was forced to believe before he attained the political and cultural freedom to question them. To honor his family and his culture and to dispel his irrational fear of a fictional punishment, Umar must declare himself proud of attempting to kill in the name of Allah. Having received a sentence of life in prison, he has nonetheless finally acquired that which was denied to him by his culture and his country: He lives now in a state of political freedom where he can observe the universe with his own eyes, free from the impressed opinions of others. And he will see the God that we all see who, if she exists at all, does not wish us to be killing each other. He will compare this view with the views of his ancestors and he will eventually stand up and understand how he was misled. And then with courage he will salvage what he can from the remainder of his life. He will come to know what we all know, that a concept of eternal punishment from God has always been a work of fiction.  How do we know this? If God exists at all, we have merely to observe the Decisions of God to learn her nature.

Umar was once eight years of age himself.  Today, a new generation of eight-year-olds is being psychologically manipulated by the religious opinions of their families and their cultures.  What can be done to protect these children today?  Is it too late for them?  How about twenty years from now, is there some plan we can set in motion today to assist that generation of eight-year-olds?  Do we need a 100 year plan? How about a 500 year plan?  Where do we start? For example, can we begin a cross-generational effort to finally establish certain rights for children, including the right of protection from religious information before they have achieved the mental capacities and the political and cultural freedom to question the concepts?

An atheists cussing can sometimes be viewed as bravado designed to battle the  same irrational fears of God that impact Umar. The eight year old might not be able to understand this intellectually and the atheists will eventually make themselves aware of this and tone down the rhetoric. Intellectual and psychological support for children subjected to enforced beliefs is a vital component of a plan to transform the world to a place of peace and who else will be providing this except for atheists and theists who will be working hand in hand for this very purpose as this new epoch of understanding begins?

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Decisions of God

If God exists, we can all observe the decisions of God. Some of these decisions are listed below:

Should thinkers have eternal life?
Should thinkers have the power to die?
Should thinkers have free will?
Should the thinker live in isolation?
Should thinkers be able to reproduce?
Should thinkers be required to believe in the existence of God?
Should thinkers be free to believe what they wish to believe?
Should life be created as newborn infants and then should these infants be entrusted to thinkers to raise?

The list goes on. We can all see the decisions of God. We have never needed a teacher or a Bible or a Quran to see the decisions that God has made. Most of us however have been taught that knowledge of God must come from a book or a scholar or a priest. Our ancestors meant well, but they were confused and the result is that many of us have psychological constraints imposed by their false notion that God is some angry being that demands worship and belief at the cost of eternal torment.

As we can clearly see, by observing the decisions of God, nothing could be further from the truth. But our minds have been prejudiced by a lifetime of thinking of God in terms of the false patriarchal ideas of the scriptures. So, to free ourselves from these psychological constraints we can use the feminine pronouns. When we do this, the old false ideas crumble to sand in the wind. We can then, with a clear state of mind, observe existence to learn what we can about her nature.

If God exists then every day, for thousands of years, she has been creating  life in the form of newborn children and then to entrusting them to us. We can all see that she is not required to do this. We can then ask ourselves why she does so.  Are we worthy of such trust? What is she telling us by continuing to trust us like this?

Is she not expressing faith in us, that we will respond in a manner that will prove we should be trusted? Is she not expressing hope for us, that we will finally learn to get along with each other, realizing that we are entrusted with each other? And is she not expressing overwhelming love for us when we find ourselves so gifted and entrusted with the raising and teaching of children?

The answer to these questions is very clear:  if God exists, she is very beautiful and benevolent in her nature. She loves us very dearly. She is nothing like the angry character described in all of our ancient texts. So, why did our ancestors write about God in the manner they did?

If we could observe the evolution of life on another planet like earth, as they acquire consciousness and mature thinking processes, as they evolve from strictly instinctual behavior we would see them develop theories of God. They would do this in response to the terrors of nature: volcanoes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, earthquakes and the marauding beasts. They were instinctual animals, now they are thinking beings, they understand they die, often violently. The roars of nature are like the roars of the beast and the logical conclusions is that there is some great angry being behind the clouds, behind the volcanoes, reaching out to strike them down in great explosions of anger. What can be done to appease such a creature? Cowering in fear in a cave, they naturally and logically found themselves praying in supplication to the angry being, to stop the torment.

And so did we.  We cowered in our misunderstandings ofr the forces of nature and we prayed.  Eventually, the maelstrom subsided and we concluded that our prayers were answered. What else could we think? We had not acquired the knowledge of the cause of storms and earthquakes. From these initial erroneous conclusions, we developed our theories of the angry God in heaven who demands worship, belief and sacrifice. Once we  had invented writing, it became written down and passed down through the generations. Along the way, we discovered that large groups of people could be cajoled to live in relative peace with each other if they all shared a fear of the mythical God.

We can see from these decisions that God would never speak to us directly through books or popes or messengers or prophets because she can see what we all can see, that when we believe these books or teachers are infallible we will fight each other over the interpretations of the words. And we have only to observe our history to see what God can see, that we will kill each other because one of us thinks the other has offended God or a prophet or a teacher or a family or the local cultures interpretation of the scripture.

We can also see that God does not ask for worship, nor does God command that we believe. We are free to believe or to not believe. If she exists at all she has no objection to atheism. Indeed, she seems to encourages atheism. She gives us our minds, our tools of reason, to learn and understand nature, to treat each other well, to build a world of peace, to branch out and populate this spectacular universe.

We can see from the decisions of God that we are afforded an opportunity. We are granted a choice: We can live as repositories of trust for those with whom we are daily entrusted, or we can be something less than that. And from this simple observation we can observe that we all were once born as infants, and as such each one of us is a gift, to each other, from God. We must now turn to our neighbors and find a way to love the things she loves, to love each other.

We have a job to do. In our world, children are born every day and enforced into beliefs in the ancient mythical angry God. While any person should be free to believe in God as they might wish, it should never be compelled. The children of the world need to receive complete educations and political freedom so they can make their own decisions as to what to believe about the existence and character of God. How long will it take to heal the world? 20 years? 100 years? 1000 years? What is the cross generational plan that will get the job done? How will atheists and theists work together to see that it happens? Crated or evolved, we have a common ground, to love and educate our children and to build a world of peace.

It is true, she might not exist at all.  but if she does, then we can all see the decision she has made and learn the true nature of her character.  If she exists, we can all see she is as beautiful and benevolent as this earth and beckoning cosmos.  What else can we learn from the decisions of God?

Friday, February 3, 2012

What God Has Never Done

Our ancestors meant well. But they are gone now and they cannot correct their mistakes. And if one believes in God then one might also believe that our ancestors live on somewhere and that they can look down upon the earth and see our progress. And if one believes that then one can know that they look on in anguish if we, their children, instead of correcting their mistakes, blindly continue our sad behavior because we refuse to believe that they could be mistaken.

And this is the state of the world today. A new epoch is about to begin, one where we no longer accept blindly as truth the things that have been written and said before. Instead, each one of us is acquiring the freedom and the courage required to observe the universe with our own eyes to see if the things we see are in agreement with the things that have been written and then make the corrections where necessary.

And we are brave enough to admit that God might not exist at all. But if she does exist we can observe the universe and see the things that she has never done.

She has never spoken directly to man.

She has never chosen one people over another.

She has never directed the creation of scripture by man.

She has never directed a man to die upon the cross.

She has never selected a man to be her messenger.

She has never given commandments to man.

She has never demanded belief in her existence.

She has never directed that man should worship her.

She has never expressed objection to atheism.

She has never expelled man from a Garden of Eden.

She has never sent a flood to cause the deaths of her children.

She has never raised anybody from the dead.

She has never planned for trials and tribulations to end the world.

She has never directed that children be taught a religion.

Observe the universe. What are the other things that you see that God has never done?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Absolute Beginners

Words can be sung
Across all of time
To that glowing generation
From out of the darkness
Of the path where we stand
We are absolute beginners
Absolutely loving
The generations of man

David Bowie at Amazon

Theamology: A Definition

The meaning of the word theamology can be derived from its Greek and Latin roots:

  • The, (Greek) God
  • Amo, (Latin) Love
  • Log, (Greek) Word

Theamology, the blog you are reading, is an atheist's study of God and love. God probably does not exist at all, but if she does exist, we can all see the decisions of God and it is from these decisions that we learn how dearly we are loved by her.  Her beautiful nature is apparent and has never been hidden from plain view. She is not anything at all like the violent gods of historical scriptures. This simple truth requires no special revelation, nor even a single word from God.  All one has to do is open one's eyes and observe the decisions of God.